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tv   The Presidency  CSPAN  August 27, 2014 11:10pm-1:05am EDT

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notion that people doing science and medicine should get the funding they need to do the research. one of the casualties of these experiments is trust. even if nobody got hurt there aren't very many people who think for example that it's a good idea to give children radioactive oatmeal without telling everybody or to release radiation from a plutonium plant to see what happens. even if at the end of the day, nobody got hurt. i think it impedes. what i tried to do was give you results of the radiation experiments and what happened. we got just a few minutes. let me see if there are any questions or comments.
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okay. well thank you all for your attention and we'll see you on monday at the medical science two, the instructions will be sent in a message. thank you very much. [ applause [ applause ] thursday night in prime time on american history tv, programs about music and u.s. history will start with author michael lesses who talked about how world war i changed american music. then musicians gram nash and staples discuss how music has been used as a catalyst for social change. later a look on feminism and the impact on popular music in the 1960s and 70s. this weekend on the cspan
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networks, friday night on cspan, native-american history and on saturday live all day coverage from the national book festival science pavilion. saturday evening from bbc scott land, a debate on their upcoming decision on whether to end their union within england. sunday, the chief justice of the circuit court of appeals, he shares his inprterpreting laws passed by congress. in depth with former congressman ron paul. all day live coverage of the festival and buy biography pavilio pavilions. on american history tv on csp an 3, a massive document about the 1969 apollo moon landing.
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and general sherman's atlanta campaign and the supreme court case bush versus gore. find our scheduling at or twitter use the #c 123 or e-mail us comments at join the cspan conversation, like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> next presidential historian jeffrey engel talks about the presidency of george hw hush and the end of the cold war. he is the director of presidential history at the southern methodist university. we'll also hear from the chief of staff for georgw h.w. bush. event hosted by the university of virginia's miller center.
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this is about two hours. >> this event we call the manuscript review. it was suggested by nelson about ten years ago. they said, you know, it's a great conference you need something to tie the room together. why don't you have a leading scholar present a manuscript in progress and really bring some of the leading scholars and practitioners who can critique that manuscript before it's too late. we've all been there, you know, where our book has come out and you participate in a panel and people always say, you should have done this. you should have done that. well, today we do have one of the world's leading scholars, je jeff engel who i will say a word about. jeff is presenting his manuscript very much in progress and the title is when the world
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seemed new, georgw h.w. bush and the cold war's peaceful end. he's an associate professor of history and the director of the center for presidential history at southern methodist university. he's the author of numerous books, two of the most recent include into the desert, reflections on the gulf war and the fall of the berlin wall. the revolutionary legacy of 1989. we're really fortunate to have jeff with us. you will say a few words about his manuscript and he put a few chapters up on line. he said you really should get a practitioner and somebody who knows a thing or how it works.
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we're fortunate to have the right person in this case. that is andrew h.carr the chief of staff of george w. bush from january 2001 to april of 2006. an scoredaextraordinary long ter a chief of staff. he also has skpeexperience withh one. he was his deputy chief of staff and secretary of transportation for president george h.w. bush. he is currently the executive director in the office of the provost at texas a and m university and thank goodness that johnny manziel was finally picked in the draft because i was worried that we were going to lose a commentator to be honest. ira said you really should get a
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heeding scholar from scholar from another discipline. we have those scholars with us today as well. david farber is a profess yr or farber. is is the author of a plethora of books and articles. two of his most recent books is everybody ought to be risk. and the author of rise and fall of modern american conterservat. thank you for joining us today. melany mcallist islister whose associate professor of international affairs, media and public affairs and also chair of her department, american studies
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at george washington university. melany is the author of epic encounters, culture, media and the u.s. interest in the middle east since 1945. she's also the coeditor with marie griffith of religion and politics in the contemporary united states. i know you're watching this with at least several other people but i hope we're fulfilling our obligation to the dream panel for your idea of the manuscript review. without further ado, i will hand things over to jeff to take it away. >> thank you, brian. it's traditional at this particular moment to say how pleased the speaker is to be
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here. i have to admit last night was the nfl draft and i was fully expecting myself to be swinging my way to a new city at this point. there is round two and three to be coming up so i have hopes still. let me begin by thanking everyone here for this trendendous opportunity. it really is for me to get mome moment but also it's wonderful to be here because this is one of the institutions that is a model for how the academy and policy making can come together, work together and move forward together. after having founded a new center can i tell you how many times an idea or program came up and we said how does the miller center do it because they do it well. >> we ask the same question. >> so we should coordinate on that. let me also take a moment to
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thank the panel for tabing time probably more than was necessary. i will do two things in my brief commentary. i was toll not to speak f. the first thing i will do is give you a little bit of a discussion about what the book is about. the methodologies involved and tell you a little bit about georgw h.w. bush and the story it tries to tell. it tries to do several things. it is a study of foreign policy during the end of the cold war and also a group biography looking at georgw h.w. bush.
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i should mention whenever i mention bush, i am referring to 41. it's also a study of him and those around him. the collective biography of american decision making during this period. it also tries to situate american policy making within a broader international m erk leau. time and begun to discover that events that occurred were in this many ways not generated by the united states. the united states was reactive often times more than prescriptive during these times. one of the arguments i make is that this is really the essence of president bush's policy making and of his foreign policy as a whole was to be cautiously reactive. realistically reactive without being too overly skuexuberant
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foreign events. it's fortunate recall all that was done during the four years, the breaking of the soviet union itself which is something that not many anticipated months before. we also have things on the other side of the globe, tiananmen square which are ultimately met with violence and force. simultaneously we have a democratic invasion of panama. we also have the golf war. we have not just the merfurther difficulties in the middle east
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visa vie the kurds. looking at all of these events it's actually kwquite astoundin to think that all of them occurred within the same four year period. in fact i would make the argument that more occurred during bush's single term in office on the international scene than faced any president in history with the exception of fdr during world war ii. president bush and his staff adopt hipocratic method. markets were on the rise. the soviet union and communism was clearly on the decline. what would happen when the decline actually occurred was something that no one could put their finger on. bob gates who of course went onto become secretary of defense in later administrations was at
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this point in time deputy national security advisor and gates who had trained as a historian was fond of going around the white house and telling everybody he could that never in human history had a massive empire collapsed without a major war ensuing the consequently when people in the white house saw the soviet union beginning to collapse they feared the next step in that logical chain. t the administration thought to themselves how can we promote stability. how can we keep things that are already going in the right direction continuing to go in the right direction. without either speeding then up they might go off the rails or doing something that would stop the process of thing. time and again during this book
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i go back to a quote uttered by otto von bismarck who said the stream of time follows along. by plunging my hand into it i am merely doing my duty. i do not expect thereby to change its course. now bismarck is telling us here that the world is moving in a direction. policy makers might attempt to change things at the margins but they are never going to change the current. never going to change the flow. i think to myful somself that td was going in the right direction and that the only thing he was doing was to make sure continued on it aproper path along the way. an example of this, president
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bush was destroyed in the press during the initial afterimagine of the fall of the berlin wall, an aftermath which was covered on international television which people around the world saw celebrations in germany occur and occurred peacefullies. leslie stall halfway through the press conference said, you know mr. president you just don't seem excited. this is the culmination of the entire cold war effort. you don't seem excited. he responded in a very important way. he said well, i guess i'm not an excitable guy. that wasn't exactly why the
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truth of that conference he pointed out that one of the things about dine am tick change is that it's all moving and change the direction. he knew something that the other reporters did not which was that spent most of the previous nights and hours with thatcher and gorbachev who pleaded with him in the it do anything. the excitement in the cd would gt o get out.
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time and again president bush and his staff approached changes in europe by suggesting let us not go too far in celebrating those who are democratizing from the streets up or celebrating reformers because the reformers have enemies. those enemies, ie, twhoez ahose are in control, have tanks and guns. the great fear of the administration was the communists would react. of course we actually see this coming true in august of 1991. so i argue that there are really only two moments therefore when
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president bush essentially took off the hipocratic gloves and decided to push forward with the initiative. the first was with the reunfication with germany. he believed the reunfication was necessary to keep future stability in europe. it allow the americans to stay the europe. he pushes hard for the unfication which theeded which kw was the end of the cold war. with see two things. we see the soviets coming along with the international community in a way we've never seen before. the soviets working with britain and france and the united states
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in particular about the security of the middle east but secondly the end of the cold war, this is a moment where president bush begins to lay out what the new world will look like once the war is over. there was nothing knew with bush's order, this idea that change was moving in america's direction. if we look at the tenants of the new world order, it was not so suggest that the world was going to be perfect but rather better. the words president bush used would be more just. more free. more secure. not just free and secure but more so. ultimately that the world world would be able to take up the opportunity that had been
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afforded before the cold war occurred back in 1945. i argue that his vision was one that roosevelt had created but never came to fruition because of the cold war. i want to thank my commentators once more and let them pilary me. thank you. [ applause ] >> i am an everyoning engineer called a practitioner but i have been blessed to be able to read jeff's manuscript and i found it very, very good. so i will start off by saying i think it was a bit mistitled because i think it's more of a
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biography than it is a description at the end of the cold war but i loved the information and is constructive to understanding what made geor georgw h.w. bush the man he is. i loved the trip dunn memory lane and i loved reading about the most respected men i ever met in politics which is georgw h.w. bush. i will also say the instructive part of the book is the relationships that the president developed over a long period of time especially the relationships with people who end up being in a position to help counsel him as he had to deal with phenomenal experiences. he discovered the value of wisdom but it was not wiz democrat that came from him.
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i think jeff has shown the collection of advisors who were helping bush -- a when many of these people entered that government, many long before bush became president, i didn't think they would have anticipated a day would come from the soviet union would implode. i think that was illustrative in how you develop the relations p relationships that become important me importantme important that american was
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functioning and not functioning at the same time as the president had to wrestle with a unbelievably fabulous opportunity. i do agree that he came at that opportunity with a design not to manage it but to invite the continuan continuance. it the ship headed in the right direction. i could have an emotional response that could cause it to turn the wrong way. i don't want that to happen. having said that i want to know where the shoals are. the hip is heading into the shoals, i'd like somebody to tell me if i can do that.
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po powell helped to bring experience that helped to make a difference. there were others as well. some the president didn't want to be around him at first. i like how jeff explains the relationship with a secretary of state woulds quite dynamic. president bush i believe was at
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t the cusp going into reagan to bush doesn't look really dram a dramatic. i'm not sure it was him. the views of the foreignlesy chun it was dealing with tit an that comes through in jeff's book, too. this is not something that only happened under president bush's tenure. the seeds of change actually were planted over seas by others and you wondered how well fertilized they would be or when they would be watered and whether it would produce beautiful flowers or whether it would produce seeds and were
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invited by our government and how our economy thrives but entrepreneurship and creativity and the courage to take risks and fail and fithose were thing that were lacking in the soviet union and he helped idea t. he did it by having the benefit of counsel of different people who didn't share the same view but the same commitment. i think that was great benefit to the president and is reflected in the early stages of the book. the challenge that i have that
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book has is maturing. i do feel as if i'm ank somxiou turn on the radio and listen to all harvey, the rest of the story. i want to know what the rest of the story is. i want set the rest of the story which is the relationship that and the debate that took place in washington d.c., especially europe when you consider that europe was trying to give itself the definition of an entity rather than b have the sovereign of the members. that was a strained period of time in the relationship between the british and french. wait a minute. it's always a strained
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relationsh relationship was strained as europe was just trying to give definition to its tfl. the french were demanding that their definition that also impacts some of the economic opportunity perceived by europe before it was perceived by the united states. i think there were other interests at play as the soviet union was struggling to deal with a reform that really wasn't invited. it was imposed. but it was invited, i think, for a noble reason and nobody expectation.
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however at time the united states was cynical of the person who presented the reform. is there a more mack mau reason him to do what he was doing. i think history has shown that it was more noble to do what he did. i'm sure makavelli guided who he is. some of the player are on the stage. they are looking for mack, makavelli. you look at what was happening in soviet union and russia. they seldomed called them russia at the time but there was an influence between raush ussia a
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soviet union. i'm going to go to the board meetings but george washington wasn't winning every battle but they lost barkle how my frietho of who the winner was going to be. in south carolina, they were looking to get on the other side of the perceived winner. i suspect a lot like that was happening in the soviet union. as gorbachev is wrestling with
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the reforms i wanted to put in place. obviously we know the coup attempt. that i think was an under current all of the time that gorbachev was bringing his view of reform to the people of the soviet union and to the countries and the satellite countries were definitely in my opinion trying to decide who's the winner? what side is going to be on. there's a dynamic there they think president bush managed better than historians acknowledged so he was cognizant of the east germans. the czechoslovakians and the balctic states who were trying
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to deal with an unsettled relationship that they had either liked or unliked but it was still who's the winner going to be? do they have the courage to make sure there is a winner or do they want to wait to see which one emerges. that was a tricky thing that they were increasingly sensitive experience and larry e's experience was helpful as you had to deal with these dynamics within the soviet extended family. i would say you have a great start and told the story of how president bush became grounded. i think you've developed a great understanding for us to know why the players were gathered to be
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around them and what their relevance was. i think you've given a pretty good description of how europe was starting to observe what was happening. i don't you've gone enough into the relationship and how nato was responding at nato. the bush team was a little more pessimistic as they made the change from a reagan philosophy to a bush philosophy which was not supposed to be a dramatic change. it was not but it was definitely a change. president bush, i think, benefitted by having been in the
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reagan administration and very much understanding of what their observations and expectations were and had the bif of people out and i think that dynamic is pretty interesting. i'm ready tore paul harvey's rest of the story. i want this to be productive. i would like to see the bush pub pi publick. president bush was truly rema remarkab remarkable. he also got the american misability act passed and a law to reduce ozone depleting gases
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and changes in how congress worked. got a budget deal done. he did it with one four year term. i think he was the most productive presideone term presn the history of our country. thank you. [ applause ] >> that's the proverbial tough act to follow. thanks so much brian and people for inviting me here and jeffrey giving me this opportunity it talk about his manuscript. jeff brings to this project an understanding of the relationship between the u.s. and soviet union in the 1990s. reading through this portion of the manuscript i felt quite
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confident that jeff knows. i learn a great deal about how extraordinary man faced a momentous service to his naying. valued he rarely articulated and perhaps felt no need to respond. bush is warm tr tray, as he cautiously and prudently oversaw the american government's response to the end of the soviet union. the restructuring of eastern our europe an the energetic leap of political into economic affairs. up front jeff explains that his project attempts to bring together three key narratives. one the arc of president bush's leadership and ending the cold war and the partnership between bush and gorbachev and a tail of the group of world leaders that
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played key roles in the unfolding of the years of the cold war. this is not the story of crowds which is how the story is often told because this is a ter stor leadership and regarding president bush and there are questions regarding bush's personality and character not only the presidential history. through interviews with president bush and several other key figures as well as an extraordinary scouring the white house and other archival materials, jeff does deliver a portrait of a famous man.
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his willingness to play the tortious to gorbachev's air what does not much appear in these pages is the bush that his critics saw. there's a bit of this criticism and of bush's ideological limits in chapter seven. one does not see hire the hift orrians. he lived in a world of economic success and based in entrepreneurial risk taking. bush i would think trusted certain kinds of men and certain kinds of knowledge and wisdom and had little or no interest in
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prospectives that did not fit the interventions he inherited. he counted on a world of international trade and accepted social hierarchies of all kinds. engel and the relatively few pages he devotes to explaining bush's political position calls his point of view moderate progressivism. what does that mean in a broad historical context? did bush leave in cooperation between international leaders, the bush and engel's work to some extent from a broader historical context no
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unproblemattized and undistracted. the rarely interrogated truths are unquestioned. bush is of course an individual and the bio graphical detate in his word but also the leader of a historical moment. those historical rather than b o biographical markers are largely unexplored here. jeff calls bush a company man. a largely unexplained term. it strikes me as misleadingly. bush is a leader not a middle manager. he works extraordinary patriot but his interest in using american power abroad but is reflected because president bush
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did not articulate these values. how can an energetic will to power and leadership dmienk str. at least sometimes i think jeff needs not take president bush at his word but instead to think about how his actions and policies demonstrate what push re bush really meant when he used freedom and how he saw the world and corporations and governments in achieving the society what he calls the exercise of free will unhampered by the state. i think jeff might take bush's character unvivid.
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the pocket of several of key's advisors. as far as i can tell, the cia, state department, state department. my understanding is bush was a strong believer of the reports by the intelligence committee. in the pages i read bush relies on his own feelings in pursuing economic policies. 9j9f
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with the mere absence of the american people either as actored in his own right or subjects of president bush's concerns is striking. he clearly was not president clinton who was energized in interacting with americans of all kinds. i do wonder what the patrician president made of his duties to the demos. he was charged of leading throughout the turmoil of the late 80s and 90s. finally i want to comment on what jeff calls international history. he spends a great number of pages not just writing about bush but how the per alittle nations of other states approach the cold war. a main reason the manuscript has different pages was that jeff gives his leaders long narratives of how the end of the cold war appeared to those nations and why their most
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dominate leader saw the world as they did. such pocket leaders and international per spespectives become the fashion in the writing of international and diplomatic history for a good reason. such histories make clear that the united states policy makers make the american position in the world both clear in the distinctions and similarities to other powers strong. at risk of being a contrarian,
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jeff almost never relates them to bush's understanding of the strategic environment that he must operate. rather than give leaders independent accounts of different nations and different ledders historian and trajectory. i thought it would be more useful if he told us what he did not know about these foreign leaders or views. instead he shows them as concurrent tracks to what's happen in the administration. perhaps what these leaders did not better explain the interacti
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context in which they feel they n do that. jeff's parallel stories of the last year he's of the cold war informative but given that the core story here is how the bush white house managed the end of the cold war, i think an opportunity is missed. i wonder if fewer pages on the historical trajectory of other nation states and more pages under the white house under his leader shn aship and bringing t wholcold war to end.
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many thanks to jeff and to the miller center for giving me the chance to read this. like andy, i can't wait to see the rest of this manuscript. thanks so much. [ applause ] >> wow, i got friday afternoon at 1:00. thank you too the miller center for letting me be' part of it. i presume i might have had something to do with this. i'm very happy i had the opportunity to read this as it is. >> businessman.
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